When I hear “lasagna”, I think of layers and layers of pasta.
When I hear “lasagna”, I think of the meaty meat sauce on top of the pasta layers
When I hear “lasagna”, I think of the oh-so-lovely mozzarella cheese on top of the meat sauce.
When I hear “lasagna”, I think of…
I’ve always loved Garfield. Such a snobby little cat who loves to eat all kinds of fatty food, especially lasagna and is always bullying poor Odie and Jon. But he’s adorable, no doubt.
Lasagna is a form of pasta in sheets and is also a dish, made with alternating meat sauce, cheese and sheet pasta. I don’t really know what’s the difference between “lasagna” and “lasagne“, but I’ve read somewhere that the former is the singular form while the latter is the plural form.Well, it doesn’t kill to get it wrong… so let’s just put that aside.
In any case, lasagna is an extremely yummy dish. The meat sauce recipe that I have adapted comes from the Pioneer Woman (once again) who got it from Ryan, who also owns one amazing food blog. I know a lot of lasagna recipe requires you to make the cheese sauce, but I just couldn’t be bothered to do so (I’m lazy, you see). Maybe I’ll try to make the cheese sauce one day and see what difference it will make to the lasagna, but until I think that the cheese sauce is a must, I’ll just stick to plenty of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. (:
It’s already 2am here in the morning so my brain is kind of fried, can’t really process much. So I’ll just leave you with the recipe and let you see if it suits your taste!
Lasagna (serves 4 to 5)
meat sauce is adapted from Pioneer Woman’s Ryan’s Bolognese Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup of grated carrots (optional)
1 medium-large onion, diced
500 to 600 grams minced beef*
200 grams fresh white button mushrooms, sliced**
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 small can tomato paste
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine/chicken stock
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 400-grams canned whole tomatoes
1/2 cup milk***
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200 to 250 grams lasagna sheets
250 grams mozzarella cheese, shredded
150 grams cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
*You can use a mix of minced beef, minced pork or minced chicken. I like to use 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork.
**Try to use fresh button mushrooms as they are more chewy and yummy (: If unable to find, canned ones will also do.
***If you are making the cheese sauce, you can omit the milk.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the grated carrots and onion and cook for several minutes, until the onion is translucent.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add in the minced meat. Cook until browned, gradually stirring it into the carrot and onion mixture. This will take several minutes. Make a well again and add in the mushrooms until they are heated through. Throw in the dried oregano and dried basil. You can use fresh ones if you have them on hand.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture again, dump in the tomato paste and let them heat up. Throw in the garlic and mix it all up.
Make a well again, this time adding in the red wine/chicken stock and the soy sauce, strring to combine with all the other ingredients.
Add in the canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to boil then stir in the milk. Simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours, however long you need. Season with salt and black pepper. When done, start the assembly of the lasagna.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish.
Pour half cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of the ovenproof dish. Spread it out. Lay the lasagna sheets on top then top with more meat sauce, making sure that the lasagna sheets are completely covered in meat sauce. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese on top. Repeat the layers (lasagna sheets, meat sauce, cheeses, lasagna sheets, meat sauce…), ending with the cheese layer. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the top and send the whole dish into the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pasta is cooked and the top is browned.
Remove the dish from the oven and set it aside for 5 minutes before digging into yummy-licous-ness. (: